For a winter getaway with the whole family, take an RV down the west coast of Florida and experience the tropical paradise that only this state can offer. On this trip you can start out in St. Petersburg, Florida and go all the way to the Everglades for a wealth of sights and activities that are sure to please anyone of any age.
Finding RV camping in St. Pete is an easy task. Stay at Robert’s Mobile Home and RV Resort to discover a central location to many of the spots on your itinerary. You will be minutes from the beaches, fishing and shopping. Shed any cares or worries about finding a place to stay on your trip. Your RV will contain everything you need.
While in St. Pete, be sure to visit the St. Petersburg Pier. This is a premiere tourist destination in the city, with a load of fun just waiting. At the Pier Aquarium you can enjoy the marine specimens and learn a lot about the secrets of the sea. Charter a dolphin cruise and get out there on the water to experience the sea life up close and personal. Pelican Island is a favorite destination on these cruises.
Don’t leave St. Petersburg until you get to Sunken Gardens and explore this botanical garden paradise. This is a living museum with places to walk and cascading waterfalls. Another must-see is Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. View the history of the area as well as national historic displays. You will view exhibits and events that will be fascinating for the whole family.
The Florida Holocaust Museum is a place where you can honor the millions who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust. This was an event that must be remembered and the exhibitions here allow visitors to do just that. See a long list of original artifacts and photographs that tell many stories. Another stop you should make is at the Museum of Fine Arts. It is like visiting a Mediterranean villa but synchronizes perfectly with a classic art museum. Twenty galleries provide a wide array of artworks worth seeing.
Move down the coast now to Sarasota, Florida. Again, there is plenty to see and do, so allow some time for your explorations. The Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is an amazing view of animal life, with interactive adventures and even a safari. You will discover lions, tigers and other animals that have been rescued from disaster.
When you have children with you, there are two places you must take them. In fact, even without kids along, you will enjoy these centers. The Children’s Garden & Art Center is quite an enchanted spot with its secret garden, tree fort and fairy gardens. At the Crowley Museum and Nature Center children learn about how people lived during the time of the early Florida settlers. Take a guided tour to learn even more.
Drive on down the coast to Cape Coral and take a short break to get in some shopping. The boutiques and shops hold many a fascinating item, some of which you will want to take home with you. If you love golf, stay here a while and get in some games. It is the perfect time of year for beach combing.
Everglades National Park is the ultimate winter vacation destination. This subtropical wilderness offers much to see, from the endangered manatee and Florida panther to the famous River of Grass. All sorts of unusual flora and fauna will capture your fancy. Hiking is a favorite activity in the park, with many ranger programs available for all ages. Bird watching couldn’t be better here.
Highly recommended is the Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail (PDF) in the Everglades. Here is where marsh and mangrove meet. Take a canoe around a five-mile loop while watching for those alligators. These amphibians may appear to be a log floating in the water, but when you see their eyes, you’ll know what you are looking at in reality. Wading birds are abundant. Go on your paddle before the end of February as the water levels drop at this time, making the trip impossible.
When done with all your exploring, you will finally have to admit it is time to head home. You can extend your vacation with a trip to Orlando, or you can head east to Miami for more Florida fun. Whatever you decide, you know that this leg of the journey has certainly been a success.
Picture credits: The picture of the St. Petersburg skyline is by Jim Dietrich, aka EaglesFanInTampa, and is from the WikiMedia Commons. is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. The picture of the Great Egret in Everglades National Park is from the National Park Service and is in the public domain.